BOSTON - Turner Broadcasting has agreed to pay all costs of a security scare triggered by a marketing campaign that disrupted travel in the city for nearly a full day, a spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas Menino said Friday.Travel on major roadways and rail lines was suspended as police responded in large numbers on Wednesday after discovering 38 battery-powered devices, which were intended to promote a television cartoon, around Boston and surrounding cities. Authorities blew up one of them.
"They have agreed to pay all costs," said Megan Maher, a spokeswoman for Menino. She declined to say how much it cost the city to respond to the incident.
Turner spokeswoman Shirley Powell said Turner CEO Phil Kent spoke with Menino several times Thursday. "They were talking all day yesterday," Powell said "I can't confirm anything yet."
In a full-page ad run in the city's major daily newspapers on Friday, Kent said Turner Broadcasting had talked with city authorities and "pledged to them our full cooperation as we work to understand what happened and why, and then to act responsibly on that information."
"We did not intend to perpetrate a hoax," Kent said.
The Boston Globe reported Friday that the tab for the response of the Boston police, transportation authority and police from other nearby cities could run to $1 million.
The signs, placed by a marketing company hired by Turner, were encased in dark plastic with wires protruding and lights wired to an electronic circuit board, and included a character making an obscene gesture.
The 12-inch signs â€” a total of 38 across the city under bridges, on storefronts and near busy train stations â€” were meant to promote an adult-themed show on Turner's Cartoon Network called "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." A movie version is also being produced.
After the first one was found Wednesday morning, police responded to calls of similar devices in at least eight other areas.
Authorities have charged Sean Stevens, 28, and Peter Berdovsky, 27, in the security alert, Boston's biggest since the Sept. 11 attacks. They pleaded not guilty to charges of placing a hoax device and disorderly conduct.
Prosecutors said the two were paid by a New York marketing company hired by Turner Broadcasting System Inc., a unit of Time Warner Inc.
At the peak of the alert, authorities mobilized emergency crews, federal agents, bomb squads, hundreds of police and the U.S. Coast Guard as traffic came to a halt in busy areas on Wednesday. Roads, bridges and even part of the Charles River were closed.
This was soooo blown out of proportion